There’s nothing like a plunge on Wall Street to turn a bunch of presidential candidates into instant experts on global financial markets.
Several 2016 hopefuls reacted quickly on Monday to the steep drop in the U.S. stock markets, and—surprise!—no one did so more aggressively than the wealthiest of the bunch, Donald Trump. In a series of tweets, media appearances, and even a video posted on Instagram, the GOP front-runner seized on the downturn to renew his oft-repeated warnings about the threat that China poses to the U.S.
As I have long stated, we are so tied in with China and Asia that their markets are now taking the U.S. market down. Get smart U.S.A.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2015
Markets are crashing - all caused by poor planning and allowing China and Asia to dictate the agenda. This could get very messy! Vote Trump.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2015
In a tweet linking to his Instagram post, Trump even dropped a mention of the dreaded D-word: “Depression.” In a quick, direct-to-camera message to his followers, Trump urged them to “be careful” without advising them specifically what to do.
Carly Fiorina, who like Trump made her name in business rather than politics, brought her own extensive experience with declining stock prices to the table. She responded more cautiously and analytically to the turmoil, which began with a major sell-off in Asian markets last week amid dismal economic data out of China. “I actually have been expecting a correction for some time,” she said in an appearance on the Fox Business Channel. “The market has been way too high given the fundamentals. Our economy is not particularly strong.” Fiorina attributed the stock-market highs that have been reached during the Obama era to the Federal Reserve’s “easy money” policies, which many conservatives have criticized. Now that the Fed is close to backing off those policies and raising interest rates, she suggested, the market is reacting. “So I think this is warranted, honestly,” she said.